Pathways to Water Goal Achievement: The Wendy’s Company and Wendium of Florida

By Better Buildings Beat Team on Jun 08, 2022

The Wendy’s Company joined the Better Buildings Challenge in 2015, committing to 20% energy reduction across its U.S. company-operated portfolio and its Restaurant Support Center of roughly 1.3 million square feet. As The Wendy’s Company worked to improve energy efficiency across its own portfolio, the company was also engaging its franchisees in energy management and benchmarking, resulting in 19 Wendy’s franchisees stepping up to the Better Buildings Challenge by setting their own portfolio-wide energy goals.

In 2019, The Wendy’s Company expanded its participation in the Better Buildings Challenge by setting a water savings goal of 20% by 2029 through DOE’s Water Savings Network. This year, the company has surpassed its water goal seven years early by achieving 25% improvement in water use intensity across its company-operated portfolio.

The Wendy’s Company has identified multiple ways to eliminate water waste throughout its operations, including converting to automated dishwashing at its restaurants and piloting smart irrigation systems that adjust water usage based on weather and soil conditions. Additionally, Wendy’s completed a system-wide water risk assessment for its company-operated and franchised restaurants using the World Resources Institute’s Water Risk Atlas tool. The assessment revealed that 40% of Wendy’s restaurants across 18 different countries are in areas projected to have extremely high- or high-water stress by 2040, and approximately 85% of those sites are in the U.S. The company will use this data as it continues to work with franchisees to identify and implement water efficiency improvements.

Meanwhile, Wendium of Florida, Inc. – a franchisee of the Wendy’s company with six restaurants in the Miami area – has followed the lead from The Wendy’s Company by joining the Better Buildings Challenge. In 2019, Wendium of Florida became the first Wendy’s franchisee to achieve its energy goal and then expanded its commitment to 20% water reduction within 10 years.

This year, Wendium of Florida surpassed its water goal eight years ahead of schedule by achieving a 31% improvement in water use intensity across 18,500 square feet of restaurant space. Wendium of Florida attributes its successful water savings to consistent preventative maintenance and monitoring for leaks in addition to installing warewash systems at all of its locations.

By implementing water-efficient technologies and practices, The Wendy’s Company and Wendium of Florida, Inc. are both demonstrating the possibility to reduce water use and associated costs – which can serve as proven examples for other food service companies as well as other sectors with commercial kitchen equipment and operations.

To learn about additional measures The Wendy’s Company’s and its franchisees are taking to reduce their environmental footprint, read their latest Corporate Responsibility Report.